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Doggy Digs Surrey © 2013
*** ALABAMA ROT ***
Yesterday I heard the devastating news that Alabama Rot claimed the life of my neighbour's dog. This is now the third dog to have contracted the disease in the woods behind Woldingham School since December. I took the decision to stop walking my boarding dogs up there when I first heard the news at the end of last year and I will not until the summer now. I have been walking Poppy in the area and washing her thoroughly when we return, however, I've now decided to stop taking her up there too.
I popped in and spoke to the staff at my vets yesterday and they posted this on their website a few days ago:
'It has been brought to our attention that there have been two cases of Alabama Rot in our area, and sadly both dogs have died. One of these dogs was walked around North Downs golf course, Woldingham School and Kenley Aerodrome.
It is not known what causes Alabama Rot and research is still ongoing. Cases have been confirmed in multiple locations across the UK and an environmental cause has not yet been proven. It is important to stress that we are NOT advising you to avoid any particular locations, but just to be vigilant of any concerning signs in your dogs. Our current advice is to rinse off your dogs after any walk in boggy areas, not simply because the mud itself is causing the issue, but because it enables you to see their skin and identify any warning signs earlier.
Unexplained redness, sores or swellings of the skin, especially the face, limbs and mouth are often the first sign of this disease, but these can be difficult to distinguish from cuts, wounds or bites so if in doubt it is best to seek veterinary advice. Similarly, if your dog becomes lethargic and inappetant , even if there is no obvious cause, then it is also best to have them checked over.
Alabama Rot is the common term for a condition called CRGV. CRGV is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the skin and kidneys, which can cause tiny blood clots to form and eventual damage of the affected tissue. In the skin this appears as ulceration (the most common sign you may notice) but more worryingly in the kidney it can lead to severe kidney failure.
For more advice please visit Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists’ website
who are leading the research into this disease. We will of course update you on any more information we receive about these cases in the local area as we receive it from the practices who treated the dogs.'
They advised me that even if you find the tiniest unexplained sore/scratch/graze on your dog, take it to the vet immediately. Don't wait a day or two to see if it improves.
All dogs that stay with me will be lead walked on the pavement around the area and only allowed off lead in my field. I will continue to wash even the smallest trace of mud off them. I hope you are all understanding of this. I can assure you they will still get the exercise they need.
Field customers: Luckily our field isn't too muddy but please feel free to use the hose to rinse off your dog if you are concerned. I understand that the disease is usually contracted in very boggy areas where water pools and I am confident that there are no areas like that in our field.